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Stop Commodification of Nature Now- HOMEF Warns Extractive Companies 

Stop Commodification of Nature Now- HOMEF Warns Extractive Companies 

By Ekemini Simon

The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has emphasized the need for everyone, especially persons in the African continent to come together and resist extractive activities in order to preserve nature.

HOMEF says extractivism has heightened the undue value placed on economic activities over the importance of nature. This practice, the organisation described as Commodification of Nature but warned that it has adversely threatened the spirituality, culture, and history of the people.

The charge was made on Monday at HOMEF’s December 2022 edition of the School of Ecology held virtually with focus on  “Political Ecology”.

In her presentation on the occasion, the Director of Earthlife Africa, Makoma Lekalakala noted that since a people’s culture, traditions, and history are embedded in nature, it is dangerous for the people to give value to extractivism which she insisted has caused nature to be commodified. 

She explained ” Commodification of nature has led to land grabs, injustice, displacement of people and this is the new form of colonialism. If we are not careful with the activities happening across the continents, the pollution caused by extractive activities, we may be forced by commodification to buy the air we breathe.”

Lekalakala insisted that putting monetary value on nature only shows the broken relationship that exists between humans and nature hence the need to turn a new leaf to forestall catastrophe.

Speaking on “Current Global Economic Model – A Precursor of Climate Change”, a Kenyan politician, environmental activist and a 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize awardee, Ikal Angelei advised that Africans should not allow the imperialists through extractivism trade the people and their communities without consulting them.

Angelei noted that the food insecurity suffered in Africa among other third world regions stem from a value chain that is built on land grabbing, water privatisation and blockage of water flows especially for business concerns.

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She explained that the current talks on carbon markets as a financial structure cannot solve the prevailing issues of climate change because it pushes for more land grabbing from the indigenous peoples even as they are losing control over their lands while the markets favour the elites and corporations. 

Earlier, the Executive Director of HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey, offered insight to the fact that the choice of focusing on political ecology is to challenge the system that fuels crisis and conflicts hence the need to understand the inter-sectionality that exists in all sectors since all the campaigns today, human actions and inaction have generational impacts.

He said ” Referring to the gifts of nature as a natural resource is a dangerous frame, as it implies that nature’s gifts are to be grabbed, transformed or monetized instead of seeing and treating it as a “re-source”. Political ecology opens our eyes to sacrificial zones and sacred zones”.

Bassey who decried the fact that the last COP27 held in Egypt did not pay more attention to some topical issues in political ecology called on all environmentalists to be more interested in issues of political ecology.

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